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Devon and Cornwall remain one of the safest areas in the UK according to crime statistics

Devon and Cornwall remain one of the safest areas in the UK according to crime statistics

Devon and Cornwall remain one of the safest areas in the UK, with an overall 9.7 per cent decrease in crime, during the 12-month period to March 2021.

Data released from the Office for National Statistics Crime shows that the region has the third lowest crime rate.

Since June 2020, the data shows there has been a 35.8 per cent decrease in theft from the person, as well as a 12.7 per cent decrease in robbery.

All types of burglary have seen a decrease of 26.1 per cent over the year, and theft offences have dropped by 21.1 per cent. Victim-based crime has decreased by 2.9 per cent.

Deputy Chief Constable Jim Colwell said: “The Force is aware that crime statistics have been impacted since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which crime trends have differed to what we would normally see. We have had to overcome and adapt to numerous challenges in policing whilst keeping our communities safe.

“We are pleased to see a reduction in the rates of crime. This is a reflection of the resilience of our officers and staff during an unprecedented period. However, we will not become complacent and will continue to work hard to ensure these crime figures stay low as our communities come out of lockdown.”

An increase has been identified in five areas since in the last 12 months to June 2021: a 12.3 per cent increase in sexual offences, 16.3 per cent increase in public order offences, 14.1 per cent increase in drug offences, 5.9 per cent increase in violence against the person offences and 15.6 per cent increase in the possession of weapons. These increases are due to proactive policing, which was especially prevalent during the first lockdown.

The total number of crimes reported since June 2021 has dropped from 95,393 to 95, 096.

Deputy Chief Constable Jim Colwell continued: “Whilst these figures are one measure of performance, public confidence in policing from our communities is equally important. We acknowledge the support from the public, especially as we enter into what is expected to be a very busy summer period.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I want to acknowledge the huge efforts of officers and staff in Devon and Cornwall Police who, during an unprecedented period when our communities were threatened by emerging crime types, kept working towards keeping Devon and Cornwall as two of the safest counties in England and Wales.

“There is more to be done. Too many lives in our peninsula are blighted by antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, violence and sexual offences. These are not challenges that the police can face alone, I want the force, its partners and our communities to work together tirelessly until we are unquestionably the safest part of the country.”